Friendships in your adult years sometimes feel like they’ll last forever. Your social circle has been cultivated over many years; lifelong bonds solidified through cocktails and the inevitable shared hangover, house moves, marriages, breakups and endless hours of deep discussion of the values of a good book and bad reality TV show.
But just when you thought you and your chosen family were safe, a new test of the friendship arrives – you have a baby.
You lose friends, you gain friends, and you discover the “unicorns”.
Everyone visits to begin with. Everyone understands that you can’t leave the house. Everyone understands why you reschedule. “You have a newborn. No, don’t even worry about it! We’ll come to you! You tell US when.” They bring food, presents and wine. They cuddle the baby and then they leave, promising another visit soon.
You get a few of these house calls and then suddenly (!) it’s a few months later. The baby is vaccinated and you’re planning coffees dates. You’re leaving the house and they’re still very understanding. It’s OK that you’re late. It’s OK that you have to work around napping and feeding schedule. It’s OK that you want to stay close to home.
You meet up at the closest cafe to your house and things are normal; they hold the baby while you inhale your coffee. Only the very slightest of grimaces crosses their face when baby starts grizzling before it’s replaced with an indulgent smile and your child is handed back to you eagerly.
It’s around nine to 12 months that you might notice the novelty wearing off for some friends. (The novelty of YOU having a baby).
Their lives return to normal. Yours doesn’t.
They start getting confused as time goes on and you’re still not available like you used to be.
“Oh, you can’t do anything between 10am-2pm?” (Because NAP TIME).
“That’s weird. Can’t she sleep in the pram?” (Please don’t get me started).
They still make their plans between 10am and 2pm.